With Halloween still fresh in our minds, it makes sense to begin with a nice, creepy image. Flies might not get much love from humans (well, okay, they get none), but if they were our size and THIS is what we had to face, it might instead be: "Sir, yes, sir, Mr. Fly! Er, apologies for the classic horror movie and for that Jeff Goldblum remake." Note the compound eyes, which respond faster than anything in the animal world. They're watching you, and watching and watching.
Keeping on with the creepies, this ancient spider from the Jurassic period was preserved in sediment and was found in rocks in China. Paul Seldon, of the Paleontological Institute at the University of Kansas, worked some magic with high-tech imagery to capture a close-up of the plectreurid spider.
From the very small and old and stuck in stone, we go to a new, previously unknown species of humpback dolphin, which was recently identified off the coast of northern Australia.
Meet a blue-tongued skink, crossing red sand in the Northern Territory of Australia near Alice Springs. The skink is a type of lizard, one that isn't out to sell you car insurance. A new type of skink, gold-colored, was among three new vertebrate species recently discovered in Australia's Cape Melville mountain range.
Australia certainly seems to be a hotbed of animal discovery activity of late. Footprints made by a bird more than 100 million years ago have been found down under, and they've been deemed the oldest bird prints ever uncovered in Australia. Here, a drag mark made by the rear toe on one of the Cretaceous bird tracks indicates to scientists that it was the mark of a bird coming in for a landing.
We interrupt our narrative flow for a penguin! (We don't really need a reason to show a penguin picture, do we?) This Magellanic penguin carries a branch to its nest in the Punta Tombo Reserve in Argentina. The reserve was created to protect the largest continental colony of Magellanic penguins.
Meanwhile, another reserve gained not a penguin but something a tad larger: a Sumatran tiger. Carteria, a two-and-a-half year old, is seen here in a cage during transport to the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, on the southern tip of Sumatra Island, on Oct. 26, 2013. Carteria was sent to the conservation site after it was rescued from poachers.
This monkey, already making its living in the Tambling Wildlife Nature Conservation, must not have been too thrilled to discover Carteria would be joining the neighborhood.
Here, there be dragons. And by here, of course, we mean the Prague Zoo. The zoo has been successful at breeding Komodo dragons, of which this 10-day-old baby Komodo is proof. The Komodo is the largest living species of lizard and it can grow up to be about 3 meters (almost 10 feet) long. (Just for comparison's sake, the blue-tongued skink we met earlier maxes out at about 45 centimeters, or 17 inches.) Check out the next slide to see what happens when cute little fellas like this one grow up.
They don't ALL end up attacking pumpkins at the London Zoo, but this Komodo dragon named Raja did. The giant creature is reminding us that Halloween is so OVER now. Raja might even be wondering why humans bother to hollow out, carve, and smash pumpkins when it's so much easier just to bite them. And that's not just the opinion of some random Komodo dragon with an attitude. Raja appeared as himself in the James Bond film "Skyfall." Perhaps here he is really just auditioning for the 743rd installment in the "Friday the 13th" series.